Stateside
3:29 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

A letter to Congress from 55 state officials demands immigration reform

Rashida Tlaib (D) is a state representative from the 6th district and is one of 55 state and local officials who wrote a letter to four big names in Washington D.C.

Tlaib and others called on John Boehner (House Speaker), Nancy Pelosi (House Minority Leader), Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) and Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader) to help lead the way on our country's immigration policies.

"[Immigrants] are here already, they're already a part of our communities...it's about time that we recognize that they exist," Tlaib said.

Tlaib is a child of immigrants herself.

"I've been asked for my birth certificate in committee as a joke," she said. "Michigan can be a lot more welcoming [toward immigrants]. There's something wrong with a system that doesn't support the need for family unity."

Tlaib has been working with Republican State Representative Joe Haveman of the 90th district to create supplemental programs for children who need extra assistance with learning English as well as other after-school programs.

Despite the positive bipartisan partnership Haveman and Tlaib created for nearly 25-30 percent of the members of their community, Tlaib said it isn't enough.

Though local elected officials are on the ground every day working to change current policies, they don't have the amount of power that members of Congress have.

So far, they haven't heard any response to their letter.

"I know they've gotten a number of letters, but I think that it was important for them to hear our voices, not just from their congressional members."

-Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom